Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Attila at the Metropolitan Opera

I had the displeasure of being at the Met opera on Saturday evening to see the new production of Attila.  This is a fictionalized story of Attila the Hun put to opera by Giuseppe Verdi.  Attila is supposed to be conquering Rome and Italy.

The first scene is actually a stage full of concrete rubble with visible rebar sticking out through the pieces.  The scenery is so negatively distracting that it was hard to focus on the singing and music which was actually quite good, as is usual at the Met. 

The show itself was also pretty un-compelling.  The singers for the most part just stood in one spot and sung.  I honestly would have been happier listening to a CD in the comfort of my home.

The second half was dominated by a set that consisted of a wall of greenery.  At one point a hole was made in one half.  In a later scene the hole was switched to the other half.  I mean come on.  This is the Metropolitan opera.  The scenery looked like it was done by an elementrary school play designer.

Furthermore, the costumes consisted of largely T shirts and pleather.  I don't know what is going on over there at the Met.  I know that not every production can be a Zeffirelli Traviata, but this was simply awful.
I am not inherently against modern productions.  This year I saw the Damnation of Faust which was visually so interesting in many ways.  Leagues better than this Attila production, if the two can be compared.

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